326 kms on the KTM Duke, stunning 52kmpl mileage!!!!

Duke in White livery looks better than the Black one
After long and hard working month of March in office it was time to pack the bags and set off to one of the best vacation spots in India......Goa! Although only a 4-day trip it was worth the stay if you get a chance to keep the KTM Duke 200 with you the entire trip and explore the beaches of this tiny state in India.


4 days, 16 hours of ride time, 326 kms done let me share with you the impressive ride, along with little disappointment, on the Duke 200. 



Big Radiator in the front to cool the engine.
Note this bike requires coolant !!
Engine: This is one real gem of an engine that KTM has offered to the Indian public. The eninge is power full throughout the revv bands. Although at higher revvs it does tend to run of out power. At 25bhp it is more than enough to zoom past your competitors on the road due to its superior low and mid end torque and quick acceleration.





Coolant inlet and Fuel tank lid.
Notice the lid is same as the one in Pulsar
Exhaust Note: Now this is a debatable topic and subjective. Many people specially the orthodox middle-age group men and women, will criticize the bike's auto-rickshaw like exhaust note. 

I found very few people who actually have no problem with the sound that the bike's exhaust system produces. Mind you it is one of kind exhaust note, it is a signature of one of the better bike manufacturing company in the world, you can brag about this to the younger and more open minded group of people to really appreciate its exhaust note!

As for my opinion, I too have mixed feelings on this one. Its new, unique and quite funky! which is the thing I like about it. But on long rides where you are cruising peacefully into the near empty roads, this same exhaust note becomes annoying to the point that you wish it wasn't there! So for short city rides, and just for sheer joy of riding a bike to impress someone I would prefer the Duke. For a long comfortable ride of more than 50 kms in a day or a weekend getaway to some far off place, the noise will annoy you and others as well.


Mono-shock suspension serves
the purpose real good
Handling: 8/10 on handling for this bike. The handle is light weight and easy to maneuver. The bike has an impressive turning radius due to its design. Making a U-turn on this bike it the most easiest thing you can do. The bike feels stable and glued to the road all the time under 90 kmph. Going above 90 kmph the bike felt a bit unstable mainly because of its light weight. It weighs only 125 kgs! 

And I must also mention that the bike probably had a real good accident and some of the damage must have been beyond repair or not repaired properly which ultimately had affected the high speed stability of this bike. 

I must also mention that the bike actually felt unstable at speeds over 100kmph. Getting the bike to 100 kmph speed was a challenge in itself. Even on empty and better roads in Goa (better than Mumbai's), I had to work hard to actually push this bike to 100 kmph. Which is actually the most disappoint part on this bike even after having an extra 6th gear!


Rear Disc is big and offers powerful braking
Braking: 10/10 for braking. The brakes on this brakes are powerful and absolute functional. With 300 mm front Disc brake with four-pot brake caliper and 230 mm Disc brake with one-pot brake caliper, floating brake discs, braking this bike from top speed to nought is a cake walk. Thanks to its design and superb suspension, brakes are applied smoothly on both front and rear and you can stop the bike quickly and in full control. Also you are not thrown forward when you brake heavily and is other bikes.


Comfort : 3/10. Now this is an area where the Duke needs improvement and I must say a "lot of improvement". If your butts are made of iron, then the bike's seat would be a couch made of feather for you, too soft. But if you are a normal person, you are in for a hard time for your butts! 

The seat is not only hard but also its design makes it even more uncomfortable. A wide riders seat means that your inner-thighs are rubbed against the seat and on the long ride they become extremely sore, you can't walk properly!

Those 326 kms were absolute painful for the inner thighs albeit the joy of riding the bike was soothing.


Verdict : That is for you to decide. I've given you all the points to talk about this bike. Now you decide what you want from your bike and see if the Duke meets your requirement. Duke is definitely for the youth and for the college hunk, it is a good & practical show-off machine.



Useful Luggage Handle bar :P


Adds glam to your garage ;)

How a 6ft tall guy would look on the Duke 200

















 
Wide rear tyre give lot of
 stability and ride comfort

   













 
Headlight is powerful and
serves the purpose in dark

Post Card from Goa!
Post Card from Goa!


Post Card from Goa!
You need to eat to ride that much :P
Jackfruits, Mangoes and Cashew-nut fruit
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About Vivek Manjarekar

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